Bear with me. I promise, you want to make these, you just might not know it yet. Bison is maybe a little unusual for people who are not living in rural areas where people regularly shoot and kill and eat everything from snow geese to antelope.
That’s not to say that there are actually wandering bison where I am, but when you live in a place where people regularly throw game dinners and eat moose, elk, venison and doves, you get to be more open-minded. The standard beef, pork and chicken triumvirate is demolished.
But! Like a lot of game meat, bison (even farmed) can be a little bit lean, making cooking it a challenge. Bison, when properly cooked, is delicious, but when improperly cooked, it’s…well, it’s enough to make you go running for the nearest traditional cow burger.
This recipe solves that problem by combining buffalo meat with a little bit of bacon, which adds enough fat to keep everything nice and juicy. Plus, the added smokiness from the bacon really brings out the flavor of the bison. No need for other seasonings, I promise. Just touch the meat as little as possible, and for the love of God, do not press on these burgers as they are cooking. Please.
You can serve these like a traditional burger, on a bun, but the flavor is so good that it’s also great Paleo-style with just some lettuce, tomatoes and onions (oh, and a dab of mustard, which sets off the richness really well).
- 3/4 lb to 1 lb bison meat (may be labelled as “buffalo”)
- 6 slices of all-natural bacon (with as little sugar and such as possible)
- tomato slices
- red onion, thinly sliced
- buttercrisp lettuce
- First, turn on your grill and let to come to high heat. Really make sure the grill is hot before you put meat anywhere near it.
- Second, take your bacon and put it in a food processor. Pulse until the meat is the texture of ground beef (it’s amazing how fast this goes!). Put the bacon crumbles in a large mixing bowl, add bison meat, and gingerly mix with your hands until combined. (If you want, add a little Worcestershire, but it doesn’t need it.) Form meat into four patties.
- Grill patties on high to medium-high heat until nice and brown on the outside. Mine were done after about five minutes a side (you want the bacon to cook enough, which is why you leave these on a little longer). Serve with tomato slices, red onion and buttercrisp lettuce.